Future proofing: Why it’s never too early for entrepreneurs to plan ahead

HSBC has a proud history of supporting entrepreneurs throughout their business lifecycle. We recently carried out a research study to determine what drives business visionaries and what happens once they are successful and want to move on to the next thing, whatever that might be.

Are you considering exiting your business?

Our report, entitled Essence of Enterprise, concluded that 40 per cent of entrepreneurs globally are considering selling their business and yet, less than half of them have experienced a sale.

Exiting or selling a business is a fundamentally important decision that can raise concerns about liquidity management, wealth transfer and business succession. There are numerous paths available, but for many, it should start by asking whether the aim is to step aside from the business or remain involved in a different capacity.

Whilst serial entrepreneurs tend to plan their exit from the outset, others find it comes as a natural progression after many years investing time and energy into the development of their business. At HSBC Private Bank, based on our years of experience, we believe it’s never too early to start planning for the future, whatever path that takes.

We understand that most entrepreneurs are focused on building and growing their business, not on the day you leave it behind. But failing to plan for this eventual transition can result in a chaotic succession process and lost value.

Look before you leap - factors to consider

An exit strategy can seem like the end of a journey. But it should be considered as an opportunity to plan how to make the most of a good situation.

That’s not to say that it’s easy. Planning a business exit is a complex, often challenging process, which requires months, if not years of preparation. There are a number of elements to co-ordinate and often results in a once in a lifetime opportunity for significant personal wealth. Or for serial entrepreneurs, it’s a chance to raise capital to invest in another venture or passion.

Juggling these factors can see personal considerations overlooked, so it’s important to step back and consider matters from your own standpoint, reflecting on what matters most to you and your family. Never lose sight of your personal goals.

The big picture – how HSBC’s expertise can help

We can help you understand the different factors you need to consider as you plan your next steps. We help get the balance between your head and your heart to reach the best outcome for you and the questions you need answered to avoid sellers’ remorse.

Together we can explore what a good exit might look like for you; how you can plan for this and what you need to know to ensure that the execution goes smoothly. We specialise in key areas such as investment structuring​, passing on wealth to future generations and securing your wider legacy, for example through philanthropy.

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